The History of Chitter Chatter Therapy
Chitter Chatter Therapy is founded and owned by Jenna Thomas M.A. CCC-SLP. She is a NC licensed and ASHA certified speech language pathologist. She has over thirteen years of providing speech language therapy to a wide variety of children in collaboration with other skilled professionals such as special education teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, behavior specialists and psychologists. She founded Chitter Chatter with the belief that, with early intervention and consistent team support, families can be given the skills to ensure that children are able to reach their highest potential.
Our Speech Therapy Team
- Jenna Thomas
- Jenna is a native of North Carolina who graduated in 1998 Summa Cum Laude with an undergraduate degree in Communication from North Carolina State University where she was also a Teaching Fellow. Jenna studied at the University of Florida for graduate work and received a Masters of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from East Carolina University and the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in 2001. Jenna has spent over thirteen years serving pediatric populations in homes, daycares and schools with an emphasis on infants and toddlers, both English and Spanish speaking, with communication delays in various areas such as Developmental Delay, Apraxia, Language Delay, Fluency Disorder, Articulation Delay, Autism, Down Syndrome, Learning Disabled, and Other Health Impaired. Jenna’s passion is connecting parents with their children by developing functional communication routines specific for each family, both with English and Spanish speaking families. Jenna maintains her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association as well as her North Carolina Speech Language and Hearing Association license. She has experience with families from CDSA branches across eastern North Carolina. Jenna is the owner/operator and therapist for Chitter Chatter, llc.
- Meghan Barney
- Meghan earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York, Geneseo in Communication Disorders and Sciences and her Master’s of Science from The College of Saint Rose, Albany New York in Communicative Disorders. She relocated to North Carolina in 2009 and has been with Chitter Chatter since 2012. Meghan is an experienced and certified speech and language pathologist who has worked in a variety of settings including: private practice, home, daycares, private schools for students with significant disabilities, public schools and preschools. Meghan has worked with individuals exhibiting a wide range of disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Rett’s syndrome, Developmental Apraxia of Speech, Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and Articulation and Language Disorders. She has also worked with those who require Augmentative Alternative Communication options including low, mid and high tech devices. Meghan especially enjoys helping children and families learn to communicate. Meghan is licensed by the North Carolina Board of Examiners. In addition, she is a member of the American Speech Hearing Association (ASHA). She currently resides with her husband and son in Apex, NC.
- Carol S. Crabb
- Carol obtained both a B.S. and M.S. degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in Speech-Language Science. She worked as a Speech Pathologist in the Champaign Illinois Public School System before discovering life in beautiful North Carolina. In Durham, Carol worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for a preschool parent involvement program for four years followed by 25 years serving students with speech-language delays and disorders in the public school setting. Carol loves working with children who have unintelligible speech, children with Down Syndrome, autism, learning disabilities and various other developmental delays. She particularly loves the preschool age group and co-taught weekly lessons in the Wake County Public School System with the classroom teacher for an Autistic Preschool program. She has a passion for working on functional speech-language skills and includes the family in the therapy sessions so generalization to daily communication is enhanced. Carol has an upbeat personality and feels at ease with youngsters and their families. Her lessons are individually designed to capture the imagination and interest of her clients. Carol has presented at the NC Speech-Language annual convention on the topic of evaluating and providing therapy for severely unintelligible children. She is a member of both the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and the North Carolina Speech Language and Hearing Association. In her free time she volunteers as the speech coach for a group of disabled adult actors who belong to a group called S.T.A.R (Special Theatre Arts of Raleigh.) and volunteers in a special needs classroom in Raleigh.
- Renee Jolly
- Renee graduated from East Carolina University in 1997 with a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She worked as a Speech Pathologist in the Craven County School System before moving to Maryland where she spent six years in the Anne Arundel County Public School System before stepping away from her career to spend time raising her twin boys. Born and raised in Rocky Mount, NC, Renee and her family have relocated back home to North Carolina. In her career, Renee has worked with children with speech-language disorders and delays, autism, Down syndrome and articulation disorders. Renee loves working with children, especially the pre-school population. She is a member of both the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and the North Carolina Speech Language and Hearing Association.
- Beth Barnes
- Beth received her Master’s and PhD in Speech Language Pathology and degree from the University of South Carolina. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill, where she studied speech and language development in children with fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and Autism. She has worked clinically in rehabilitation and public school settings and is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina. Beth is licensed by the North Carolina Board of Examiners and accredited by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. She is currently serving school age students in elementary and middle School.
- Kelsey Martin
- Kelsey graduated summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a B.A. in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology (2012) and a M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology (2014). While pursuing those degrees, Kelsey was given scholarships, awards, and graduate assistantships for her outstanding academic and clinical performance. During her educational career, Kelsey gained clinical experiences in a private clinic, daycare, preschool, primary-middle schools, skilled nursing facility, and hospital where she had the opportunity to serve clients of all age groups and a variety of communication challenges. Kelsey considers each experience a blessing, but she specifically enjoys serving children and their families. Kelsey’s love for working with children is evident in her past experiences as a childcare provider, respite care provider, children’s ministry volunteer, and summer school educator. Kelsey is passionate about Early Intervention and working with families and other team members to help children communicate. Her specific interests include parent/caregiver education, augmentative and alternative communication, treating expressive and receptive language delays, and autism spectrum disorders. Kelsey is currently completing her clinical fellowship to earn a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-and-Hearing Association. As a new graduate, Kelsey is well equipped with the latest evidence-based practices and is beyond excited to utilize her knowledge and skills as a speech-language pathologist! Kelsey currently resides in Wake Forest with her husband, Nate, and dog, Shea. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys spending time with her little family, serving in ministry alongside her wonderful husband, being creative and crafty, and capturing memories with her camera.
- Abby Welch
- Abby is originally from Georgia and recently made the move to Wake Forest with her husband, Wesley, and rescue dog, Maxie. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education (2013) and Master of Education (2015) degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Valdosta State University. While pursuing her degrees, Abby was awarded several scholarships and awards for her academic and clinical work. During her educational career, Abby gained clinical experiences in a private clinic, preschool, elementary schools, skilled nursing facility, rehab facility and hospital where she had the opportunity to serve clients of all ages with a variety of communication challenges. Throughout her undergraduate coursework, Abby worked for a catering company and later accepted a graduate assistantship. She values the importance of working hard at everything you do! Abby has experience with a wide variety of communication disorders, including articulation disorders, apraxia of speech, autism spectrum disorders, as well as receptive and expressive language delays.
- Abby enjoys working with the pediatric population, with a special interest in early intervention for speech and language development. She loves to work with young children and their families to provide personalized therapy to achieve their communication goals. Abby is currently completing her clinical fellowship to earn a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
- As a new graduate, Abby is thrilled to put all of her knowledge and studies to work with children and their families. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and exploring new places, as well as painting and calligraphy. She can’t wait to meet you and help your child better communicate with the world around them!
- Karen Williams
- Karen graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Minor in Choral Music. She earned her Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Her clinical experience includes providing therapy in the hospital, private practice, daycare, home, and school settings with people of all ages. Karen especially enjoys working with children and their families on various aspects of speech, feeding, and language. Her specific interests include pediatric feeding, language development, articulation, and voice disorders. While pursuing her graduate degree in Boston, Karen was a member of the Northeastern University Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, as well as the National Speech Language and Hearing Association. Karen has enjoyed the opportunity to provide therapy to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Receptive and Expressive Language Delay, and Cerebral Palsy.
- Karen is excited to continue applying the knowledge and skills that she has been working on for so long with children in the Wake County area. She currently lives in her hometown of Raleigh with her husband. She enjoys hiking, swimming, music, and spending time with family and two cats.
Our Educational/Functional Support Team
- Caroline Warren
- Caroline is a North Carolina native, originally from Lumberton. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from Meredith College and lives in Raleigh with her husband and three sons. Caroline has spent her social work career serving a variety of populations across multiple settings. Her passion for social work came from a strong bond within her own family growing up and has developed into a profession of assisting families as they embrace milestones achieved and challenges presented. Caroline has experience working with children with normal and atypical development, including behavioral disorders, Autism, Down Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis. Along with being a wife and mother, she also works as a social worker in a local nursing home and volunteers in her church working with the preschool ministry, Operation In As Much and WIHN (Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network). Early in her career, Caroline served as a Infant/Toddler childcare provider and nanny for many years. Caroline has over 15 years experience with Child Development and hands-on daily activities for achieving developmental milestones accordingly and learning in a play-based environment. Caroline has also served as the Assistant Director at the Ellen Brewer House. The Ellen Brewer House is an on-campus child care program at Meredith College serving children whose ages range from 6 weeks to 2 years, and offers child development students the opportunity to participate in hands-on observation and work during the academic year. EBH remains one of the highest ranked centers in the Raleigh area. As a Play Therapist, Caroline is able to promote a safe and secure environment for children who want and need to be understood and accepted. Caroline quickly establishes rapport with children at a preschool level , and facilitates learning without the child even realizing because he is having so much fun! Children may not always have the ability to verbally express their wants and needs; however, all children can speak by playing. Caroline uses nurturing and empowering to help children process their feelings for growth and happiness.
- Jennifer Quinn
- Jennifer graduated from The State University of New York at Oswego in 2011 with a B.S. in Childhood Education and a concentration in English. Jennifer is a play therapist and a kindergarten teacher for Wake County. She has previous experience working with birth through three-year-olds as an early intervention teacher for an integrated classroom. Jennifer has experience working in a structured setting of special needs classrooms, working specifically with children with autism, down syndrome, oppositional defiant disorder, and developmentally delayed. She also has experience in a recreational community setting as a ski instructor. As a ski instructor for Gore Mountain in New York, Jennifer worked with children of varying abilities to develop their motor skills and build their overall confidence and self esteem to encourage them to achieve a personal goal. Jennifer also has experience working with children in home environments and regular education classroom settings. This breadth of opportunity has afforded Jennifer with an ability to accommodate a multiplicity of developmental needs across all life settings. She has an energy and enthusiasm working with children. Jennifer is driven to aide in supporting with early development and helping young children build essential fine, gross motor, social, emotional and communication skills. Her approach to play therapy is that she establishes a loving and nurturing environment and has a meaningful approach to the tasks performed during sessions to most benefit the child in meeting their areas of need.
- Nicole Nelson
- Nicole’s path to becoming a Developmental Therapist was carved by personal experience and loving inspiration. After becoming the parent of a daughter with severe brain abnormalities, Nicole was committed to learning about every facet of childhood development. She worked alongside therapists, doctors and nurses to gain knowledge, both procedural and academic, that could benefit her daughter. Nicole attended each therapy session, learning how to care for her daughter and help her in any way possible. Although Nicole’s daughter is no longer with us, she is the reason Nicole is in this field. Nicole wants to assist children like her daughter to reach their fullest potential.
- In 2013, Nicole graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Community Services with the concentration of Early Intervention from East Carolina University and has worked as a Developmental Therapist since graduation. Recently, she made the move to Raleigh bringing her specialized training and passion for families of all types to the Chitter Chatter LLC team. Throughout her educational training, she has grown more and more passionate about the positive impact Early Intervention Programs and Professionals have on the lives of children. The interventions, time and relationships built at this special age of life, produce positive repercussions that resonate throughout a child’s school age years and well into adulthood. Nicole remains focused on the difference she can make with each child not only today, but for the child’s entire future, and how she can empower caregivers to make those same positive impacts in relationships with their own children.
- In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, attending church and visiting new places. In addition, she also volunteers at the Easter Seals UCP in Wilmington and Greenville locations. She is part of the organization S.H.A.R.E., meeting the needs of families and children in need in the eastern region of North Carolina. Nicole has completed ample practicum hours at several preschools, primary school, and the Nancy Darden Child Development Center at East Carolina University.
- Her credentials include
- A Bachelor of Science in Family and Community Services with the concentration of Early Intervention from East Carolina University
- Certification in Infant, Toddler, and Family Services (ITFS)
- Experience as a Developmental Therapist working with diagnoses including: Prader Willi, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Sensory Processing Disorder, Receptive/Expressive Language Disorder, Premature Infants, Neglect, Vision/Hearing Impairments, Schizencephaly, and Trigonocephaly
- Experience across various settings, such as homes, daycares, and community centers